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Demonstrations Of Affection

Bill Nelson

album box set - December 1989

Demonstrations Of Affection - Cover
Chimes and Rings - Cover
Nudity - Cover
Heartbreakland - Cover
Details - Cover

CD 1 - Chimes And Rings:

01)  Lady You're A Strange Girl     

02)  Kiss Goodbye     

03)  Call Of The Wild     

04)  Lost To Me     

05)  Dangerous Lady     

06)  Working Man     

07)  Giving It All Away     

08)  Ice And Fire     

09)  Wonder Where We Go     

10)  Dreams Of Yesterday     

11)  Sell My Soul     

12)  Back To Dreams     

13)  I Wait For You     

14)  Walking Away From Paradise     

15)  Playing Jesus To Her Judas     

16)  Something's Going On     

17)  The Miracle Belongs To You

CD 2 - Nudity:

01)  Feels Like Up To Me     

02)  Prize Of Years

03)  Still Waiting     

04)  Lover Boy At Heart     

05)  The Wonder Of It All     

06)  Devil In Me     

07)  A Little More Time

08)  What's It All About?

09)  Thunder On The Wing

10)  Shake It Up

11)  Love To Win

12)  Running

13)  If Love Were Gold

14)  I Want You

15)  Kiss It Off

16)  Angel Like You

17)  Crying All Night

18)  Only Love Can Tell

CD 3 - Heartbreakland:

01)  You Know How To Hurt

02)  Broken

03)  You Make Me Cry

04)  Mess Around

05)  Why?

06)  Insanity

07)  Confused

08)  Heartbreakland

09)  Lucky Star

10)  Heartbeat Thru The Telephone

11)  One Day At A Time

12)  Tip The Wink

13)  Shadow Haunting Me

14)  Raining

15)  Love's Immortal Shining Angel


CD 4 - Details:

01)  Maybe It's The Future     

02)  Wondering     

03)  Wasted Lives     

04)  The Best Of You     

05)  Stay With Me     

06)  Love And A Bucket Full Of Holes

07)  Prisoner Of Love     

08)  Don't Wait     

09)  Man On Fire     

10)  Visionary     

11)  The World To Me     

12)  Strong Enough     

13)  Everything Permitted     

14)  Aeroplane Wings     

15)  One For You     

16)  Let It All Pass You By


Demonstrations of Affection is a 4CD box set issued on Cocteau Records. It was also released on cassette. Both versions came with a free T-Shirt alongside the 4 albums of new material. This was the final official release by Cocteau Records.

The recordings that make up Demonstrations of Affection were commenced at The Echo Observatory in 1988, but span a very difficult period of time for the artist, who was going through separation, leading ultimately to divorce. This resulted in him moving to a new home in 1989, rechristening his domestic recording facility Studio Rose Croix in the process, where the recordings were completed.



The set had just one pressing and has been out of print since 1990. Note that each CD forming the set was issued separately, but again went out of print with the demise of Cocteau Records.


All four albums are available to purchase individually as digital downloads here in the Dreamsville Store.



"It's a fairly straight, song-oriented album with pop overtones rather than an experimental/abstract instrumental affair. Of course many of the songs dealt with an uncomfortable time in my life when I was troubled by marriage breakdown and management/financial problems...I guess the music was, in some instances, a cathartic response to this and could be interpreted as an involuntary expression of personal angst. But, it has what I'd consider some nice songs on it, emotional and direct."

"I'd say that there are lots of songs in the set that work independently of the situations that inspired their writing. Perhaps if you didn't know the context they would be little more than fairly straight-ahead pop most pop songs deal with love or loss and the complications of relationships.

There are a handful of songs in the set that I think are very good, particularly when I think back to the basic recording equipment I had at the time. But a lot of it I find marginally embarrassing as my life has long since moved on and, as always happens with these things, you look back and wonder what all the fuss was about and why you couldn't see the bigger picture.

It doesn't take long to realise that these sort of changes are always going to be for the better. My life is infinitely more fulfilled and happy now that it ever was all those years ago. So, the album, if it documents anything at all, is a demonstration, (not so much of affection), but of the human inability to see beyond the moment to a much brighter tomorrow."



"The songs - they are excellent, belonging to a phase of Bill's work that works for me completely. They are also unusually direct and heartfelt and so seem to be more immediately memorable than those from albums just before or after the set was released. Some very simple catchy melodies are included as well. I can hum most of them from memory and they turn up in my head unbidden surprisingly often."


"I've just got to say that DOA is my favourite of all the 'box sets'. Features some of Bill's best songs I reckon."


"The recordings do jump off the speakers, with saxophones and massive drum arrangements: much more ambitious stuff than I remember."

Tony Raven:

"I have to plug for Chimes and Rings. Wonderful tunes, perfect synth, breathtaking moments of varied guitar. Pop elements with subversive jazz sensibility. After dozens of plays, the whole CD still sounds great, whether at close listening or in the background, on the stereo rig or in the car."

steve lyles:

"I really love the Demonstrations of Affection material."

"I have never thought of any of your songs as demos Bill...I prefer the 'sketches' term myself, the content has always been of more importance to me than the gear or place it was recorded."


"Been away from this set for far too long. Some really terrific tunes here."


"I know that this was recorded at an exceedingly tumultuous and stressful time in Bill's life, and I have always found it remarkable how gifted musicians and composers can produce such beauty out of such dark circumstances.
When I have trouble and stress in my life my work tends to suffer, not thrive."


"At the time I found it an incredibly 'stylish' and typically Nelsonesque thing. I mean, other people simply write one or two songs to cope with losing a lover and/or trying to get her back, Bill made a set of four albums! And I found the idea of 'spontaneous' music-making quite interesting, and it's something that Bill continued to do with later albums, of course...Those who dismiss Demonstrations should listen again to tracks like "Wondering", "Let it All Pass You By", "Love's Immortal Shining Angel", "Giving it All Away" or "Strong Enough". And the list can easily be continued. As always with Bill, each of these discs has some true gems."


"The album that affects me most on an emotional level has always been Demonstrations of Affection. The songs and music seem to me the most heart-felt of all Bill's works, covering love, pain, anger, hurt...Now, I've never gone through a divorce, but at the time of release of that album my wife and I had just suffered a tragic loss, and many of the feelings in that work were very similar to feelings I was experiencing (for very different reasons). It helped me to be able to feel some form of emotional connection through the music."

John Fisher:

"There's a temptation to view Demonstrations of Affection like several of the other box sets in Bill Nelson's long career (Trial by Intimacy, the My Secret Studio sets, Noise Candy) - as a collection of like-minded songs. Sketchbooks collected from a period of several years. But Demonstrations is unique in this regard. It's really more like a diary - one that chronicles a particularly difficult and emotional period of the artist's life.

Coming through the dissolution of his marriage, moving house, management problems, and financial strain, some might be tempted to lay open a vein. But instead, Bill Nelson lays open his soul. The music on this set seems to explode from his chest as if it cannot be contained. Where Chances Encounters in the Garden of Lights features music quickly bourne from a state of spiritual meditation, these songs sound like compositions freed from spontaneous combustion.
It a wild ride thru heartache, anger, resentment, bewilderment, passion, lust, elation, resignation, nostalgia, and finally - hope.

Yet, despite having a catharsis as catalyst, these are some of the most melody-driven pop songs of Bill's long career.  Although one can point out that they betray their origin as demonstration recordings, and that you can hear the influence of the 80's loud and clear, Bill wrote some cracking good pop songs here. In fact, many of the best songs from Demonstrations were not included on What Now, What Next? and Practice of Everyday Life box sets."


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